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Phils replenish need for speed, power in Draft

Phils replenish need for speed, power in Draft

Phils replenish need for speed, power in Draft play video for Phils replenish need for speed, power in Draft
PHILADELPHIA -- Before Wednesday night's game against the Dodgers, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spent most of his nearly 20-minute dugout chat hitting on his struggling offense.

He noted his team doesn't hit for power nor has the speed needed to play small ball.

Both areas for the Phillies happened to be at the center of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, which concluded Wednesday.

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"We went out and got what we thought we needed to get early," Phillies director of scouting Marti Wolever said.

No, Larry Greene -- the No. 39 overall pick on Monday -- won't be coming to Citizens Bank Park anytime soon.

Draft Central

Nor will Roman Quinn, the speedy shortstop taken in the second round Tuesday along with third baseman Harold Martinez of Miami.

But the Phillies believe they've done quite well addressing needs for a team that has a myriad of aging infielders who have a lot of big league miles on them.

"We came to the conclusion that it has been over the last several years very difficult to find a position player," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Our first three guys are position players that we think have some ceiling to, some power, some speed. Other than the first guy, guys who can play in the middle of the field, which is important."

Greene, a left-handed corner outfielder, hit .562 with 11 doubles, one triple, 19 home runs, 52 RBIs, 58 runs scored and 13 stolen bases this season for Berrien County High School in Nashville, Ga.

He's committed to Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., but he sounded like he wanted to sign, and the Phillies seem confident a deal can be reached.

The Phillies wrapped up their Draft taking advantage of a deep pitching board.

In total, 11 of the Phillies' 20 picks on Day 3 were pitchers.

But the area of need entering this year's Draft was infielders, and the Phillies struck early.

"We're very happy," Wolever said. "We got some hitters. We got some offensive guys right out of the gate, some guys who can run and have power."

Deep in the Draft, Phillies fans saw a familiar name come off the board in Andrew Amaro, the nephew Amaro Jr.

The Phillies' 47th-round pick projects as a second baseman or center fielder and has been committed to Maryland for a year-and-a-half, where he'll likely attend, Ruben Amaro said.

"Speed's probably his tool," Amaro said.

Also, Kolya Stephenson, a right-handed pitcher and son of Phillies manager of video production Dan Stephenson, was taken with the final pick of the Draft.

Nate Mink is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }